Archive for October, 2009

Voter Shenanigans

October 30, 2009

Yesterday, the church bus being used to help get out the vote for Pam Murray’s re-election campaign picked up 5 residents of Sumner County and brought them to the Davidson County Election Commission to vote for Ms. Murray.  The Election Commission workers turned them away.  Can anyone think of a plausible explanation for this situation that isn’t nefarious?

Unfortunately, voter shenanigans are nothing new to the Pam Murray campaign.  During the previous election, poll watchers from the McFerrin Park precinct watched more than one odd character professing support for Pam Murray wander in and claim to live somewhere in the district when s/he clearly did not.  One “voter” claimed to live at a physical address that didn’t exist (the poll watcher discovered this later driving down Hancock Street).  Another claimed to live at an address occupied by a friend of the poll watcher.  These individuals were allowed to vote.  It has never been clear whether their ballots were counted or remained provisional.

Update:

Today, 2 individuals from out of the district have tried to vote in the District 5 race.  One man was given the chance to give THREE addresses–none of which were in the district–before he was shown the door.  He might have been given a fourth if a Hollin poll watcher hadn’t protested.

Now, imagine this was happening at the precinct level–where many volunteers are likely to gloss over problems to avoid conflict–rather than at the ELECTION COMMISSION, where people are supposed to know the rules and abide by them.

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Comments

October 28, 2009

We have heard from some of you that there was a problem with making comments anonymously. We think that problem has been fixed.

If you tried to comment previously, please come back and try again. Let us know if you have any further problems.

Comments will be moderated. We will publish comments from supporters of both campaigns.  We will NOT publish comments that are rude from either side.  Stick to the facts.

The Beer Board Story

October 28, 2009

You may have heard of convenience stores in some of the more troubled parts of town selling little roses in a vial and chore boys because together they can make a crack pipe. Some businesses on Dickerson Road went a step further. They sold little baggies with a rose vial, PART of a chore boy (yes, they actually cut it up) and a lighter. Just call it a crack pipe craft kit.

Community members were fed up with these practices. Their complaints to the business owners fell on deaf ears. The issue was brought up at more than one neighborhood association meeting (note: Pam Murray was not at these meetings). The police collaborated with residents to address the situation. Undercover police busted the stores selling crack pipes in February of 2007. A local neighborhood association contacted the Beer Board and filed complaints. Under TN state law, a business selling drug paraphernalia can lose its beer license.

There was considerable delay and frustration simply getting to the hearings for these cases. Attorneys representing the businesses kept filing motions for continuance at the last minute. On two occasions, this left a hearing room full of residents and police officers prepared to testify who had to go home and wait for another month.

Eventually, each side said its piece and the beer board deliberated. After considerable discussion, the decision was made to sanction some of the businesses involved in selling crack pipes. The BP located at 701 Dickerson Pike had its license suspended. The owner (at the time—it has changed hands within the same family) requested reconsideration and enlisted Council Member Pam Murray to argue on his behalf at the Beer Board. Interestingly, the owner also told neighbors that he had contributed to Ms. Murray’s re-election campaign (her financial records do not reflect said contribution).

And so it was that residents of the 5th District sat in yet another beer board meeting and watched their own Council Member tell the beer board that their decision was too harsh. When her constituents disagreed, she turned on them and chastised them for hurting business in the district.

If you are a member of the press, we encourage you to investigate this story. Talk to the Beer Board. Talk to the East Precinct Police. Please.

How did we get here?

October 10, 2009

Why did neighbors decide to recall Pam Murray? Is it about a zone change? Is it about Detroit?

So far, we haven’t heard much else in the press. Our sources tell us there is much more.

We’ll be talking to constituents in District 5. Their stories will be posted here. Everything will be anonymous. That’s the way we roll.

Do you have a story to tell? Contact us at districtfive@rocketmail.com and tell us all about it.